Manifests (Loading)

Updated 1 month ago by Colin Mollenhour

A ShipStream Manifest is a collection of packages which are being shipped via the same Manifest Courier (pickup driver) and are bundled together as one unit to be transferred to the carrier. A common example of when you would use a Manifest would be if you are stacking packages onto a pallet which is then loaded onto a UPS truck for pickup. A Manifest is built using the Loading feature in the scanner UI. While this feature is optional in most cases, it does offer several benefits if you choose to use it:

  • Scanning the shipping label barcode will ensure that the tracking barcode is readable.
  • Prevent a user from unintentionally mixing a package with other packages destined for another manifest courier.
  • Prevent a user from unintentionally loading an entire manifest onto the wrong truck.
  • Increase accountability for the pickup carrier since the manifest contains a record of every package that is transferred to the carrier.
  • Depending on the carrier and the service levels, additional data may be transmitted to the carrier and additional documents may be received and printed (USPS SCAN Forms, driver manifests, etc).

Requirements

Before you can use this feature you will need to setup a few new barcodes in your warehouse. This setup does not need to be repeated for each Manifest.

Load Location barcode

The first new barcode you need is a "Load Location". Load Location barcodes must be specific to the pickup carrier and have a suffix that can be anything you like. You will want to affix this label nearby to where you will be loading packages for a given carrier and will want to make the carrier referenced by the barcode obvious to the person performing the package loading.

The barcode encoded value must begin with LL: and then include the correct carrier code from the table below, and then a hyphen and then your suffix of choosing. If you have multiple load locations for the same carrier make sure each suffix is unique for each warehouse. Packages assigned to different Load Locations will belong to different Manifests.

For example, to create a Load Location barcode for FedEx Ground called "A" the barcode encoded value should be:

LL:fedex-A

See System > Shipping > Manifest Couriers for a complete list of supported codes.

Manifest Courier barcode

The second new barcode you will need is for a Manifest Courier. These codes are unique for each pickup driver so that one driver should only pickup manifests with the same Manifest Courier codes. You will want to place this barcode in a location near where the manifest will be transferred to the carrier such as near the dock loading bay where the pickup driver typically receives your shipments.

The barcode encoded value must begin with "MC:" and then include the correct pickup carrier code from the table below.

Prior to version 2021.4 the Manifest Courier barcode was referred to as a Carrier Type barcode and used a "CT:" prefix. The old barcode format is still supported for backwards compatibility and is fully interchangeable.

For example for FedEx Ground, the barcode encoded value should be:

MC:fedex

See System > Shipping > Manifest Couriers for a complete list of supported codes.

External Shipping Methods

If you are using an External Shipping Method you can set the default Manifest Courier for all packages assigned to that shipping method by setting the Manifest Courier field when editing an External Shipping Method from the System > Shipping > External Shipping Methods page. If using the External Shipping Method API the Endpoint Url may also return a "manifest_code" which may override the default if one is set. If a Manifest Courier is not set for an External Shipping Method and no "manifest_code" is returned then you will not be able to use the Loading feature for those shipments.

Operation

The basic steps to creating and completing a manifest are:

  1. Tap "Scanner" to open the scanner UI.
  2. Tap "Loading" to start the Loading feature.
  3. Scan a shipping label's tracking number barcode. ShipStream will lookup the shipment data by this tracking number and display the logo for the correct carrier.
  1. Scan the correct Load Location barcode which corresponds to the logo displayed. On success, an audible "ding" sound will play and you will be returned to the previous Loading page.
If your packages are all destined for the same Load Location you can choose "Lock Load Location" so that you can skip step 4 for all remaining packages.
  1. Repeats steps 3 and 4 until the container at the load location is full or you are done loading packages.
  2. Tap "Seal Manifest" and scan the Load Location barcode for the Manifest you wish to seal.
  3. Select the Container Type and tap "Print Label". A label will be printed with a summary of the manifest data including a logo for the pickup carrier and a barcode identifying the manifest.
Sealing a manifest issues a "Close" operation to the carrier if it is supported. If there are other documents provided by the carrier from this close operation they will be automatically printed and a notice to the user will indicate which printer they were sent to. Examples of manifest documents may include USPS SCAN Forms, HazMat Shipper Declarations, etc.
  1. When you are ready to transfer the manifest to the carrier, tap "Load Manifest" and scan the manifest label printed in the previous step.
  2. Scan the correct Carrier Location label corresponding to the manifest and transfer the manifest to the carrier.


How did we do?